"A little child shall be born in a grocery store in Whittier..."
October 25, 2014 8:57 PM   Subscribe

"And on the Seventh Day, He gave a Barbecue." - Based on the 1969 book of the same name, The Begatting of The President is a parody Biblical retelling of the fall of Johnson and the rise of Nixon as narrated by Orson Welles. [Youtube playlist]
posted by Ferreous (7 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I flat wore out this vinyl, back in the day. It's wonderful.
posted by drhydro at 10:19 PM on October 25, 2014

Don't know if it was mentioned in this week's obit. post, but in the same vein was "And The Word Was Gough" by Mike Carlton and Peter Luck. I grew up with my parents listening to both and I think the Australian one is funnier, if only because it's easy to imagine Gough (a lifelong atheist) thinking of himself as Jesus Christ...

Sadly, apart from a short clip in a radio show, a few mentions, and a dead link, it's almost entirely missing from the internet. You can read a track listing here.

(I'm sure my father still has that much-worn copy in a box somewhere; I'll have to see about digitising & cleaning it up.)
posted by Pinback at 5:12 AM on October 26, 2014

This was played heavily in a couple episodes of the Firesign Theater's radio show. Which if nothing else meant that it had the endorsement of the freaks and hippies back in the day.
posted by ardgedee at 6:11 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Before Orson Welles became associated with this, it was a very slender book.
posted by Rash at 8:30 AM on October 26, 2014

Many things were slender before Orson Welles became associated with them.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:42 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hilarious and educational (well, sorta).
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:36 AM on October 26, 2014

It is the tale of US presidential politics over the first 18 years of my life.

Some of my earliest TV memories are Kennedy and Nixon on the black and white Motorola. But really just shadow memories, and no idea of who they were, what they stood for, or against -- I was five years old. I was in kindergarten. Chicago. I think that we drew their faces, one of our little kindergarten assignments. The first time that I know I saw Kennedy on TV was in 1962, the Cuban missile crisis. He was dead serious, the most presidential looking president that has led this bus as it's creaked down the road of my years.

Listen to some speeches by Kennedy -- he actually said things, he used words grouped together to form sentences that really said what he was about, what he wanted to do. What he was doing. And why. The only other president in my lifetime who even came close to that was Carter. Who was/is the finest man of any of those who have sat in that chair in my years. But Carter was too much a fkn Boy Scout to go out and cut someones nuts off, which Kennedy would have done -- and likely did -- with a song in his heart, or had his little brother go and do it for him, and then they'd laugh about it whilst playing football on the White House lawn. But Carter spent his time considering how to be a totally ethical, decent man, thus of course got his ass ran down like a blind dog let out of the car on the interstate.

I listened to all of the pieces, and it was fun, at times. I was and am appalled at how lightly the bullets were glossed over, just a punch line in a stanza, ha ha ha. Kennedy. King. Kennedy. The Kennedy brothers were incredible men, truly remarkable leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. by far the best human being that the US has every produced, the most intelligent, the finest, the most courageous. Those men getting pegged as they did, it was absolutely horrible. It wasn't a joke. It still isn't. Everyone on this site knows the kick in the guts that 9/11 was, how it completely stopped the show, the ache in every heart. Here is Walter Cronkite on CBS November 22, 1963. It stopped the clocks. The US went into shock, into profound grief. Then King took his bullet. Then Bobby took his bullet. US cities were burning, Vietnamese villages were burning, the US was reeling, tilt-a-whirl in a hall of mirrors, and shards of mirrors, bent mirrors, reflecting and refracting inaccuracies as we spun, under strobes and then darkness, strobes and then darkness again, ongoing.

The US went nuts that day and it hasn't much stopped since. I know that our govt was low-rent scum pieces of shit prior, all the banana wars we set up, and the oil wars, but I didn't know it then -- prior to those bullets flying -- nor did most any other US citizen. We just didn't know. Those bullets helped break the shell we lived in, helped us to see how our brothers and sisters were living, helped white America see what was going on, helped white america to listen -- and actually hear -- what black America was living. Those bullets helped us to see what we were really doing in Viet Nam, helped us to listen -- and even hear -- what young men coming home told us. I finally got it, I finally learned it, I got it drilled in deep, in high school, Nixon's second election, that truly contemptible piece of dogshit Kissinger announcing "Peace At Hand" like two days before the election. I never trusted another politician.
Until Obama. I must now admit shamefacedly that I actually believed there was to be change, that the bombs would stop dropping, that our non-stop murder machine would be set in neutral. I even gave money. I even went to political events. I actually had hope. Comical. It's very humbling to have put duct tape over the mouth of my wide-awake 17 year old self, to have put my fingers in my ears when it tried to talk. I snapped out of the trance immediately when Obama put in Gates as his war secretary; here's the new boss, same as the old boss.

Nixon started the US police state in a huge way -- War On Drugs. A perfectly simple way to usurp citizens rights, in fact get people to give their rights away willingly -- scare them. Scared people will buy anything. You damn sure saw that play out in our blood festival in Iraq, the US public bamboozled by a moron headlining a team of stone killers, a band of cold-hearted psychopathic thieving murdering motherfuckers who did the deal while GWB was riding his mountain bike on his ranch, doing photo ops of himself in a cowboy hat with a chain saw in his hand, popping out of a jet like a jack-in-the-box to tell everybody "Hey, We Won!" What a dope! Anyways, it was Nixon -- who had Rumsfeld and Cheney in his White House, if I recall correctly -- who put that whole War On Drugs US Citizens Rights into motion.

David Foster Wallace penned a very compassionate, quite illuminating portrait of LBJ, a short story in his collection The Girl With Curious Hair. Wallace gave us the street fighter that LBJ was but gave us a human being, too, many dimensioned. I don't want to turn this into a sadness-fest about Wallace being gone, but jesus h christ that man could write. I've listened to some of the tapes of LBJ, I've read some of Caro writing about LBJ, but I came away seeing much more of the entire of the man under Wallace's pen, and whether it was/is accurate or not I'll never know; I do know it was A Good Read.

As I listened to it play, and mostly enjoyed it, it drove home the point that to get to be a leader of our political machine is to either be or become completely unprincipled. Aside from the anomoly of Carter, who stepped in at a time when the US had finally seen what was up and hated Ford for pardoning Nixon, every other successful US politician (excepting Dennis Kucinich) has sucked every dick waved in his face while at the same time kicking or side-kicking with polished shoe anyone coming up from below or the side. It's a filthy business. I don't guess I can even hate them for being who they have had to become to get the gig -- it's a role, they are in a role.

Anyways, thx for posting it. I'd never heard it before, it was amusing, mostly, except those bullets being laughed at.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

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